How Does a Roomba Handle Pet Hair? (5 Key Factors)

Last updated on January 19th, 2024

Everyone who has lived with dogs knows the worst part is dealing with their hair. The entire house gets covered in them. It’s impossible to clear all of that manually.

But robot vacuum cleaners can help clean the floors. They can pick up the pet hair from the entire house. Not all vacuum cleaners are designed to handle dog hair. But Roombas, of course, can.

Does Roomba pick up pet hair?

Roombas can easily handle pet hair—the hair pickup rate changes from model to model. Models with high suction power deal with pet hair more easily than the others. Their high-efficiency filters can effectively trap pet dander and allergens. With proper maintenance and regular replacement of worn-out parts, your vacuum can keep pet hair in check.

There are also other factors that play a role in determining how effectively a Roomba can pick up dog hair. Let’s take a look at them.

Factors affecting hair pick up rate

How does a Roomba Handle Pet Hair?: Cleaning the carpet
Roomba cleaning pet hair from the floor

The factors that affect the efficiency at which a vacuum can pick up dog hair are:

1. Hair type

A vacuum can pick up short hair more efficiently than long hair. Hair of 2-3 inches in length gets suctioned in easily, but longer hair does not do much. They tend to get wrapped around the main brushes. The bristles brush is a nuisance to clean.

You have to cut out the tangled hair most of the time. Rubber brushes are easier to clean. Hair just smoothly slid out from them.

2. Quantity of hair

Roombas have a limited dustbin capacity. Even with their self-emptying base, there’s only so much they can pick at a time. If your dog(s) sheds a lot, the bin will fill up faster than usual. This calls for more interruptions in the cleaning cycle for emptying the bin.

In shedding season, iRobot Genius suggests more cleaning cycles than usual to cope with the amount of hair because the vacuum is not able to get all of it in a single cleaning cycle.

3. Floor-type: hard floor vs. carpet

We know how hard it is to clean carpets in the first place. Add dog hair to that, and you have got a nightmare. They settle at the bottom of the rug and refuse to be suctioned out.

The 3-stage cleaning system agitates the carpet and lifts up the debris so it can suction it in. But still, cleaning dog hair on hard floors is easier than the carpets. Which makes Roomba the best robot vacuum for pet hair on hardwood floors.

On a medium pile carpet, a Roomba i3+ Evo can pick up 82.5% of the dog hair in one cleaning cycle, while on hard floors, it can pick up 87% of the hair.

4. Suction power

The most important aspect of all is your vacuum’s suction power. The more, the better. Higher suction power lifts up debris with more force, so hair that tends to stick to the floor can be picked up too.

Even in Roombas, there are models with higher suction than the others. These are more effective in handling dog hair. Let’s take a look at which models have more suction power in the table below.

Roomba seriesSuction power
600 series1x
i series10x
e series5x
j series10x
s series40x
Different Roombas and their suction power

The 600 series is the most basic series of all. All the others are compared with respect to its suction power. You will notice that the s series has 40 times more suction power, which makes the Roomba s9+ the best robot vacuum for pet hair.

5. Condition of the Roomba

Cleaning main brush of a Roomba
Cleaning the main brush of a Roomba

For a vacuum to perform with the highest efficiency, it needs to be in the best shape. Worn-out brushes and degraded batteries won’t get the job done.

If the robot is not in its best shape, it cannot pick up dog hair easily. There are other factors as well that hinder the pet hair pickup rate of the vacuum. Let’s find out what those are.

Also Read: 5 Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2024

Difficulties faced by a Roomba in picking up dog hair

The following are the difficulties faced by a Roomba while picking up dog hair:

Clogged brushes

Hair gets wrapped around the brushes and restricts their movement. So, they get clogged and are unable to move in their regular circular motion. This affects the pickup rate of not only dog hair but also other debris.

The efficiency of the filter decreases

There’s always a pet dander in households with dogs. It’s the filter’s job to keep it trapped and not release it into the air. But with constant use, the filter, too, gets worn out. And the trapping efficiency thus decreases.

Dustbin needs frequent emptying

Dog hair can take up more space than you can imagine. With large amounts of hair, the dustbin gets full faster. And it needs more frequent emptying. In addition to disrupting the cleaning cycle, this also makes vacuum work harder. Thus, it gets slower while picking up dog hair.

All these difficulties are common for all iRobot vacuums. But none of them are unfixable. You just have to take a few measures to increase your robot’s efficiency. Let’s see what those are.

How to increase Roomba’s ability to pick up dog hair?

A Roomba that regularly undergoes maintenance keeps in good shape. It can pick up dog hair with almost similar efficiency that a new vacuum can. All you have to do is

  • Clean main and side brushes regularly
  • Replace the brushes when worn out
  • Keep the battery in good health
  • Clean full bin sensors from time to time
  • Clean the filter and replace it when worn out

Conclusion – How does a Roomba handle pet hair?

Unlike some vacuums that struggle with pet hair, Roombas are good at picking up pet hair. Their capacity depends on a number of factors, but the most important of all is the suction power. The s9+, with its highest suction power, is the best robot vacuum for dog hair. With proper maintenance, all iRobot vacuums can effectively handle dog hair.


Are Roombas good at picking up pet hair?

Yes, Roombas are good at picking up pet hair because they have excellent suction power.

Do Roombas get clogged with hair?

Sometimes, the wheels of Roombas get clogged because of hair, and their movement is restricted. You can clean them out to restore normal working.

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Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

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